ACAM: Indonesia

The A Country a Month project continues apace. You may have noticed that we’ve stopped off in both Australia and New Zealand in various posts. Next up is Indonesia, a country I know nothing about. The lovely Sessily has helped me out by putting together a list of resources on Indonesia, which is below.

I’ve checked out two books from the library to get me started on my research: The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics, edited by Tineke Hellwig and Eric Tagliacozzo and A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1200 by M.C. Ricklefs. Feel free to read along if you so desire. I’ll keep you updated on what I learn!



A History of Modern Indonesia, Adrian Vickers
The Indonesia Reader: History, Culture, Politics; ed. Tineke Hellwig and Eric Tagliacozzo
In the Time of Madness: Indonesia on the Edge of Chaos, Richard Lloyd Parry
The Dark Side of Paradise: Political Violence in Bali, Geoffrey Robinson
A History of Modern Indonesia Since c.1200, M.C. Ricklefs
Surviving Against the Odds: Village Industry in Indonesia, S Ann Dunham (grad thesis of Obama’s mother)
Gifts of Unknown Things, Lyall Watson (might be really new age-y)
Art in Indonesia: Continuities and Change, Claire Holt
Made in Indonesia: Indonesian Workers Since Suharto, Dan La Botz
Indonesia: Peoples and Histories, Jean Gelman Taylor
Eat Smart in Indonesia: How to Decipher the Menu, Know the Market Foods & Embark on a Tasting Adventure, Joan and David Peterson
One dollar a day: Poverty in Indonesia, Yong Ho Bang
Allah’s Torch: A Report From Behind the Scenes in Asia’s War on Terror, Tracy Dahlby


Pramoedya Ananta Toer:
The Girl from the Coast
The Fugitive
Child of all Nations
House of Glass
All That Is Gone
This Earth of Mankind
It’s Not An All Night Fair
The Mute’s Soliloquy: A Memoir
And the War is Over, Ismail Marahimin


Eliana, Eliana (2002) (netflix)
Opera Jawa (2006) (retelling of “The Abduction of Sita” from the Ramayana, uses Javanese song, puppet theater, sacred court dance, gamelan music, and Mozart) (netflix)
Year of Living Dangerously (1982) (Australian movie about Indonesia) (not shot in Indonesia, according to wikipedia)


Indonesia (World Music Network)
Discover Indonesia: Music of Indonesia (Folkway Records)
Indonesia: Music from the Nonesuch Explorer Series (Nonesuch Records)

6 thoughts on “ACAM: Indonesia

  1. I found your blog via a Google alert, which lets me know whenever one of my books is mentioned online. Bingo: “Eat Smart in Indonesia” is one of our EAT SMART series of culinary guidebooks. I’m glad to see you will delve into the cuisine. I feel it’s the best way to get to the heart of any culture.

    Good luck on your project. Kind regards,

  2. The [Name of Country] Reader series is pretty good. I read The Brazil Reader this year, and the diversity of essays was fascinating. I hope the Indonesian one is as enjoyable.

  3. Hey Lisa,

    I like reading your blog. It’s on my google reader feed.

    Anyway, I studied Indonesia through anthropology at MSU with Dr. Elizabeth Drexler. If you are looking for a few interesting, anthropology-ish books about the place, I would suggest these:

    Robert W. Hefner – Civil Islam
    Danilyn Rutherford – Raiding the Land of the Foreigners: The Limits of the Nation on an Indonesian Frontier
    John R. Bowen – Islam, Law and Equality in Indonesia
    Jean Gelman Taylor – Indonesia: Peoples and Histories
    Elizabeth Drexler – Aceh, Indonesia: Securing the Insecure State
    Jacques Bertrand – Nationalism and Ethnic Conflict in Indonesia

    Have fun!


    • Thanks, Andy! Glad you like it.

      I will definitely look into those books; thanks for the suggestion.

      You’re still in Taiwan, right? Can’t wait to hear your tips on where to go and what to see! (And maybe we’ll meet up?)

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